The day is Barra Grande started relatively ‘tranquillo’, as the Brazilian would say, mainly because the wind was expected to pick up only round noon. An extensive breakfast and some chilling in the swimming pool was the perfect preparation for another long day of kitesurfing.
The destination of today was the Delta do Rio Parnaiba, but first we had to cross the Delta do Rio São Miguel (Macapa) . Because of the low tide, we had to slalom through the sand banks and find our way around the shallow areas.
Eventually the group reached the ocean and was heading to the first stop at Vila Itaqui. This seemed to be a very relaxing beach club, where Brazilian families were enjoying their weekend while papa was kitesurfing. The team refilled their energy with a large pasta, as we were told that a tough section was about to come. After all that seemed not to be a false prediction…
The group continued and had to pass the Porto de Luis Correia, which also includes a large rubble mound breakwater that extends about 2km offshore. Jumping over the breakwater does not fit within the ’Say YES to safety’ program, so the team also had to surf more than 2km offshore to pass the breakwater. In the open ocean the highest waves of the week until now were encountered, with swell waves of 4m not uncommon. Despite these tough conditions, the team was able to conquer this wavy area and passed the port. The Wikipedia page of Porto de Luis Correia states that an port expansion project is planned, where Van Oord could naturally provide a valuable contribution.
The next stage was to get back to the shoreline, partly in the shelter of the large breakwater. Next target point was the light tower at Pedra do Sal. This impressive rocky outcrop was heavily attacked by the large swell waves, so the team had to make a safe turn around this landmark.
Originally a pitstop was planned at this moment, but due to the time pressure the stop was skipped and the team headed directly to the final goal of the day. The last part was along a large beach stretch with a fully onshore wind, so the team could make a straight line to the end.
The finish was located in a completely different scenery as the team was used to before. Instead of the sandy coastlines, beachfront pousadas and large sand dunes, the team now ended on a small island in the rivermouth of the Parnaiba river. A small boat waited for the team to bring us to our pousada upstream the river. As high tide was upcoming, large tidal currents were present, making the landing and boat departure rather complicated.
During the boat ride the team was overwhelmed by the impressive environment of the Delta do Rio Parnaiba. Different than we’re used to in the Netherlands, this massive river is still untamed, wild and natural.
Again the group realized how magical this whole trip is, passing by all these striking landscapes and locations. And more to come….